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The Navy & Gold in Downtown

Desi & Paul

Photography by: Adrian Gutierrez Photography / Wedding Date : April 2
Classy, Simple, Southern Elegance
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wedding vendors

  • Bar Service & Caterer: Rio Plaza
  • Ceremony & Reception Venue: Rio Plaza
  • Florist: De Vinnie's Paradise
  • Rentals & Decor: Rio Plaza
  • Bride's & Bridesmaids' Dress Shop: David's Bridal
  • Bride's & Bridesmaids' Hair & Makeup: Brooke Gonzales Beauty
  • DJ: Krazy Kidd Entertainment
  • Groom's Cake: Crystal's Custom Cakes
  • Mariachis: Mariachi Los Charros
  • Photographer: Adrian Gutierrez Photography
  • Tuxedo Shop: Al's Formal Wear
  • Wedding Cake: Sweet Bliss Custom Cakes

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    The Navy & Gold in Downtown

    Desiree Star Hernandez & Paul Adam Farias
    Hometowns: San Antonio

    How did you meet? My fiancé, Paul and I met in 6th grade at Horace Mann Middle School in San Antonio. We were each other’s first boyfriend/girlfriend, and though it didn't last but a few weeks, we attended school together up until high school. We lost touch for more than 15 years and reconnected through mutual friends on Facebook in spring 2014. He was in the Navy in California at the time and I was living in Austin. Little did we know after months of catching up and chatting over the phone we would see each other on Thanksgiving Day 2014. That was the start of our relationship and even though we lived in separate cities we made it work.

    Tell us about the proposal. On September 24, 2015, Paul came to my school and surprised me with the best proposal ever. I am a 6th grade special education teacher and he set up a surprise proposal during lunch. A fellow teacher told me I had to help with lunch duty that day and as I walked into the lunch room I could hear a song playing. I thought “that’s weird” and proceeded to walk toward the assistant principal as he said he needed my help. At that time the stage curtain opened and Paul came out dressed in his white navy uniform with flowers in his hand. Everyone began clapping and shouting with excitement and I was instantly in shock and filled with so much joy that when he got on his knee I started crying and laughing all in one. The great thing was that my parents were a part of the planning and witnessed it all, along with the 6th grade class of Leander Middle School! The cafeteria was filled with so much excitement it spread throughout the whole school. It was so exciting to have my LMS family be a part of such a special day.

    What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? Since Paul is in the Navy, we decided on gold and navy as our colors and had an anchor theme. This verse was also an inspiration to us: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19). We wanted it to be simple but classic.

    How did you choose your venue and vendors? We knew we wanted to have it somewhere that represented us, and as children and teenagers we spent lots of time downtown and the surrounding area. The Rio Plaza was our favorite venue and it was even better that you could see the Nix hospital right out the window, where I was born. The other vendors were all recommended by family and friends.

    What was the most trying part of the planning process? That my fiancé and I lived in different cities during the planning period so we had to get as much as we could done on the weekends. The head count was also challenging because we were limited with seating at the reception and there were so many more people we would’ve liked to have invited.

    What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? Marrying a man in uniform was amazing—he looked so sharp and handsome. I also loved our DIY frames that we placed on each table with pictures of us growing up side by side, from babies to teenagers. My husband also had a one-of-a-kind artwork painted as a surprise for me with an anchor and star that said, “A true love story never ends.” It was beautiful.

    Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Honestly, the wedding day went so well and all our friends and family were so happy celebrating, that was most important to us. Everything was amazing and we were filled with so much joy!

    What are your favorite memories from the day? Hearing the music as my father and I began to walk down the aisle was so profound I began to tear up—and I am not a crier. The sparkler exit was a blast, too—it was an amazing sight as our family and friends cheered us on!

    What are your plans for the future? We are awaiting a transfer for my husband to a Navy recruiting station in Austin and I will continue to teach at Leander Middle School. We are praying that we will be blessed with a little one soon and just continue to serve faithfully in our church home, Shoreline, and live the extraordinary life God has for us with our loved ones.

    What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Do not procrastinate because time flies by so fast. Always communicate with your fiancé about all decisions to avoid any miscommunication or conflict. Set a reasonable budget and stick to it. Do what makes you happy and don’t let others influence your decisions—although advice can be useful, it can sometimes cause you to second guess what you want. Though it might be stressful at times, don’t let it dominate your life—it will be the best day ever if you have fun in the process and focus on what’s important, the marriage!

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